The period of advertisers' paradise was when DD ruled the roost and Mahabharat used to give fantastic TRPs. However around two decades later, with the emergence of newer media like internet and mobile, media planners seem to be having a tough time working on the optimum media mix.
However, in a way, it is also a boon for the planners - as they can now have a good mix of media vehicles to deliver integrated campaigns. There is no doubt that internet and mobile cannot replace the traditional media. However, one can certainly benefit by avoiding the spillover and wastage. In a sense, a lot of clarity and certainty has come up.
Prasanth Mohanachandran, Vice President - Digital, OgilvyOne Worldwide & Neo@Ogilvy, India confirms the growing interest in new media, "As per the Adex 06, internet has grown at 52% to contribute 1% to the overall media pie. However, certain sectors like travel and finance have seen new media being upto 11% of the over media mix. Clients like the Ministry of Tourism are estimated to have allocated more than Rs 14 crores to the online media spend last year."
A media expert said that the growth of new media has been acknowledged by media planners and clients as well. He also gives examples of nsilkgangofgirls.com and Intell's PC Party as good initiatives made in the internet space. AXE has also been a brand that has used the internet medium extensively and successfully leveraged its advantages.
Sundararaman K, Head of Sales, Google India informs, "The campaign built the concept of a fantasy land where the Axe consumer could visit and be a part of by registering himself. One of the campaign objectives was to drive consumers to the Axeland website www.cometoaxeland.com. Axe's online campaign essentially featured banner ads on several websites and keyword based search advertising on Google AdWords to promote the brand.
The Mindshare (HLL's media agency) team adopted a unique search marketing strategy by choosing keywords that map to the Axe product and the Axe lifestyle. Internet users searching on these keywords encountered and clicked through to the Axeland website. Mindshare and HLL used this website as a platform to enable the target segment to interact with the brand."
According to Atit Mehta, Media Director at Mindshare Fulcrum India, "While Google AdWords accounted for 13% of all impressions for the Axeland online media campaign (search and banner advertising combined), it delivered 37% of the clicks. The targeted nature of AdWords advertising generates a higher response rate and a higher ROI than other modes of internet advertising. He points out that the average cost per click from Google AdWords was Rs.5.33 but some keywords such as "Axe" and "Axeland" had an average CPC of about half a rupee. The campaign success was evident with 18000 hits to the website and close to a thousand registrations in a single day.
One more factor that seems to work in the way of new media is the fact that measurability is not an issue and the number of clicks on a particular advertisement can give an indication of the customer interest. No wonder big advertisers like Nokia and Samsung are giving significant attention to the online medium.
Vivek Paul, Director-Operations, Soundbuzz India agrees, "Our various online and mobile properties around the Asia-Pacific, including, India experienced a significant upturn in activity from advertisers such as Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, MSN and Samsung. Our direct advertising client base has increased 100% in the past 12 months."
Of late, one has seen a lot of integrated campaigns like Cadbury's Pappu Pass Ho Gaya, AXE Unlimited Academy etc.
Mohanachandran also gives two relevant examples of Madhya Pradesh Tourism and Safari Dicor advertisements, which saw more success coming from investments in the internet medium.
In order to see the success and the acceptance of new media, one has to look at sectors like the financial sector, matrimonial services, job sites etc. These have taken away considerable shares from their print counterparts. The reason, a media expert says is that the medium offers convenience and investments made in the medium can be measured well (though security and authenticity issues remain).
Manish Agarwal, Vice President, Marketing, Rediff.com also promises action on the online front and lays a big bet on technology breakthroughs like context sensing, IP sensing etc which will ensure better results. He adds, "In future advertisers will work more closely with new media guys while designing creative in order to continuously improve from the ad spends."
Satya Prabhakar, CEO, Sulekha.com (an online Indian community) points to the possibilities of great investments that the internet may attract owing to the particular profile that the users of the medium have. He informs, "We are getting more detailed profiles of the users, which in turn allows for more targeted marketing." He also said that the medium is expected to generate revenues of around Rs 400 crores (as per IAMAI- Internet and Mobile Association of India) by the end of 2007.
When asked about the future, Sundararaman K admitted that India with a subscriber base of 25 million has a long way to go. However he noted that it is showing patterns similar to US and may well have close to 55 million subscribers by 2007.
For sure, what seems to be the fact is that new media are fast booking big berths in the media plans of most advertisers- and the magical mix of the old and new media will surely pave way for many more integrated campaigns.